The Parish Council has taken responsibility for managing a small area along the beautiful River Stour. The aim is to maintain this spot as a community amenity. It offers a close-up view of the gently flowing river, which is usually hidden in other parts of the village. Many residents appreciate the opportunity to launch boats and canoes from here, making it convenient. The River Stour Trust's support in managing the landing stage has been crucial to the success of this project. 

Both residents and visitors are welcome to use this amenity. However, to ensure safe and socially acceptable use of the Stratford St Mary River Garden, the Council requests everyone to follow the guidelines mentioned below at all times. This will help maintain continued access to the area.

Please observe them at all times and help to ensure continued access.


  • Stratford St Mary River Garden

Conditions of Use

This area of river bank has been acquired under licence from Northumbrian Water Limited and is maintained as a local amenity by 

the Stratford St Mary Parish Council.

Continued provision of this amenity is dependent upon users behaving in accordance with the following conditions of use and access to any part of the garden is contingent upon their acceptance.


Access to the River

The launching of rowing boats, canoes, paddle boards or similar craft is open only to correctly licensed or otherwise authorised, craft and is only permitted from the landing stage, which is owned and maintained by the River Stour Trust.

Such launching is entirely at the launcher’s own risk and the Stratford St Mary Parish Council do not accept responsibility for accidents or injuries sustained in doing so.

No craft shall be launched or landed directly from or onto, the river bank.

Do I  need a River Licence to use my boat. kayak, canoe or paddle board on the Stour?



Please see information on pre-arranged activities here


The following actions are prohibited anywhere within the Stratford St Mary River Garden:  



Lighting or using, fires or barbecues;

Discarding waste food or litter;

(any unconsumed foodstuff or drinks and their containers or wrappings shall be removed on leaving the garden);

Playing live or prerecorded music and the use of sound amplification equipment of any type; 

Erecting tents, gazebos and camping of any nature involving an overnight stay, other than where prior arrangement has been made in connection with a pre-registered activity;

Access by or parking of, vehicles or trailers;

Keeping or storing equipment or materials for extended periods;

Playing games involving the throwing or passing of balls or other objects;

Engaging in any activities undertaken for commercial purposes or financial gain, without prior agreement of the Parish Council.

( More information re pre-registration of activitites ) - ( Contact: )



Children under 16 are to be accompanied by an adult at all times while in the River Garden.

Although usually appearing benign, the River Stour can be fast flowing and unpredictable in bad weather with the added risk of a weir and sluice a few hundred metres downriver from the River Garden. Care should always be taken when moving around the garden, particularly near to the river bank and especially in wet conditions.

The road that runs alongside the River Garden is much used and at this point bends to an extent that makes it difficult to see approaching vehicles when emerging from the garden onto the road. Please be especially observant when leaving the garden.

Parking vehicles alongside the Gardens is prohibited. It greatly reduces visibility and can exacerbate an already risky situation. 

Please do not ignore the double yellow lines installed alongside the River Garden.


Finally, an Exhortation

Please ensure that when parked in the vicinity of the River Garden, and particularly when loading / unloading or preparing craft and equipment on the footpath, you do so with care and consideration for those who live here and provide this amenity for your enjoyment.